Eugene Laverty began his quest to finish as the leading Open class rider on Sunday at Misano by ending free practice on Friday 15th quickest on the Power Electronics Aspar Honda.
Laverty was the top Open rider on the RC213V-RS with a time of 1m 34.345s, which left him 1.4 seconds off the pace of Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, who was fastest overall on the factory M1.
Northern Ireland rider Laverty was confident of his prospects of finishing as the number one Open class rider at Silverstone at the previous round, but wet weather on race day put a dampener on his chances.
However, the Toomebridge rider – who admits that he is uncertain over Aspar’s plans for 2016 even though he signed a two-year deal with the team – was naturally upbeat on his performance on the opening day of the San Marino MotoGP.
“We have been progressing over the last few rounds, we were strong at Silverstone and we have started out in the same way today,” Laverty said.
“I am a little surprised because I thought that we would suffer more with the characteristics of Misano, so it was a nice surprise to finish as the top Open.
“We have had a new swingarm since Assen and it took a few races to set it up but now the bike is really effective,” he added.
“The lap times were good today and so was the consistency, so hopefully we can continue to improve tomorrow.”
Behind Lorenzo, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were the top three followed by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) and title leader Valentino Rossi.